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NHL

Company That Made “Chicago Stronger” T-Shirts Issues Half-Assed Apology


The Stanley Cup Finals have been epic thus far. Two games, two outcomes, four overtimes — it’s been a ton of fun on a bunch of levels. Namely, seeing two of the original six teams hashing it out. Who doesn’t like watching two huge blue collar markets go at in extra-time for the distinction of having the best team in the most blue collar of sports (note: hockey looks way more blue collar than it actually is). Gritty players, gritty fans going at it — what’s not to love?

For starters, how about t-shirt companies trying to capitalize on the inter-city competition by designing slogans that go way too far? Not to make a mountain out of a molehill, but “Boston Strong”, no matter how kitchy a sports cliché it may now be, still represents a very sensitive time for people in that part of the country. When Cubby Tees went and lampooned it by making “Chicago Stronger” shirts, they crossed a line, and now they’ve reluctantly pulled the shirt from their website. Ya, reluctantly. Here’s part of how they defended themselves on their site.

“Anyone who believes that the shirt mocked those injured in the horrible events of Patriots’ Day regrettably missed our point and did not read/process our accompanying commentary; nowhere on the shirt’s face (or within its subtext or motivation) did we take aim at the victims or make light of the incident — nor would we ever. The design poked fun at the embarrassing self-congratulatory branding of the tragedy, and its inappropriate adoption by SOME BOSTON FANS AS A MINIMIZING SPORTS ANTHEM, not the sad reality of that day’s mayhem…We are loathe to appear to bow to bullying, and offer no apologies for the design, but have pulled the shirt images in the interest of harmony between two great cities.”

Ya, and when comics make holocaust or rape jokes, they don’t intend to offend anyone. But they do. At the expense of getting a few laughs, sure — they can be funny — but there are people are justifiably sensitive about those things. Same goes for the Boston Marathon bomings. It just happend guys. Lay off the mockery for bit, aight?

Just apologize and move on. Bad joke, everybody knows what you were and weren’t aiming for — no one wants to be an insensitive jerk — the idea was just in poor taste. Unfortunately, the guys at Cubby Tees feel the need to defend themselves against accusations that they’ve been disrespectful to innocent victims of a mega-tragedy. Once again, missing the point, and all the more reason to just say sorry and forget it and move the hell on.

H/T HuffPost


  • BostonSucks

    Eff Boston

  • Bon

    They do have a good point, if anybody is exploiting a tragity it is the Boston sports teams.

  • SportsGridSucks

    Get over yourselves. The t-shirt folks are right on the money about the disgusting branding of that tragedy, especially the way it is used to sell Dunkin Donuts coffee on the centre ice boards at the Garden in Boston.
    Why don’t you whine about that.
    Wish I had been able to buy one of those t-shirts.
    And those Boston Bruin army fatigues they had Bruin players wearing in post-games are equally obnoxious.

  • BleacherBoy

    IRONY ALERT: SportGrid is accusing someone else of trying to
    be funny/edgy and failing! We’ve grown used to the “uber-hip” writing at SG
    coming across as stale, but it’s even lamer when coupled with disregard of the
    facts. CubbyTee’s statement clearly says:

    “… it was not an apology, it was an explanation. The style
    of modern-day PR “apologies” is to issue the empty sentiment, “We’re sorry
    if anyone was offended…” — if such a notion provides any comfort, then
    you can consider it expressed (we did not aim to offend anyone). A true apology
    is when one believes that what they did was wrong and regrets ever having done
    it, not when one tries to retroactively salve the infinite array of individual
    responses experienced by everyone in the world. We cannot control anyone’s
    perception; we can only best explain our actions & intent, which were never
    malicious or disrespectful. Many have voiced disgust (reacting to an affront
    that was not there), and many have shown support (for freedom of expression and
    social commentary, not to any insult)…how would we apologize to one side
    without invalidating the other? This is a site that sells sports tee shirts. We
    promoted one team while taking umbrage with the behavior of another team’s fans
    in the context of sports – we’ve done it before, we’ll do it again.

    I happen to agree completely with the company’s take, but whether one does or not, this SG story is just off-the-mark. But hey – why bother contacting the site or even reading the whole page when that might get in the way of your pre-fabricated snark?

  • Jake O’Donnell

    My point was that this didn’t need a complex explanation or apology, with sentences that sound like “retroactively salve the infinite array of individual
    responses experienced by everyone in the world.” They messed up. They should have apologized and apologies don’t generally require 2,000 words. No disrespect but that shirt was insensitive regardless of how “boston strong” has been co-opted by sports fans. I’m glad you have such a strong opinion about our site. Pre-fabricated snark? The sheer fact that they had flowery response to the whole situation was enough to make the point that they didn’t need to do that. Not sure how that’s rushing to judgement…

  • Joey Kendrick

    The city that has one of the biggest racism issues in sports has an issue with a shirt like that? Tough Luck Boston.


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